Walking Over Cancer

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Mar, 2020 05:14 PM

A vicar who endured 2 battles with breast cancer has found her own way to "Walk All Over Cancer" in Dorset.

Deborah Smith, Team Rector of Bridport, set herself the challenge of walking 5 miles every day while she underwent her treatment and has now committed to walking 10,000 steps a day throughout March as part of the nationwide campaign to raise money for cancer research.

Cancer Research UK are encouraging people to Walk All Over Cancer by walking 10,000 steps every day this month.

Deb, who was first diagnosed after a routine mammogram, underwent 6 rounds of chemotherapy before having a mastectomy in March 2017, followed by radiotherapy and then further surgery to remove her lymph nodes, said:

"I made myself go out and walk every day no matter how bad I was feeling, and it was the best thing I could have done. It made me feel so much better both physically and mentally.

"Even when I felt at my lowest and weakest, walking made a massive difference to me."

But Deb didn't have to walk alone, she was accompanied by her dog Polly and together they still take regular walks on West Bay beach.

"Cancer can be a scary thing when you first hear the word. When I was first diagnosed, I remember being so frightened thinking that I might die, but I am here as proof that people can and do come out the other side and we have research to thank for that.

"It certainly changes you and makes you grateful for what you have. I’ve been fortunate that I have an amazing family and friends and have met some incredible people along the way. If there is one thing cancer teaches you, it’s how kind and supportive people can be in the worst of times."

Deb is hoping she won't be alone with her walking challenge and is inviting others to Walk All Over Cancer throughout the Diocese and wider afield.

"People can tackle the Walk All Over Cancer challenge in their own way, taking part on their own or asking family, friends and colleagues – and dogs - to join them."

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